Interactive: Search Operator Basics

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Getting started with query operators

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Teacher: Will Critchlow

Improving how you search:

In addition to entering simple keyword-based queries, the major search engines all offer advanced query operators that give you more granular control over the results returned. In this lesson, we will explore a variety of these advanced query types and combine them in useful ways.

While the operators are typically the same or similar across major search engines, the following examples are all tested on Google. You can read more about advanced query types here.

The search query below returns pages that contain the phrase harry potter dvds. By using the site: operator, you can restrict it to only pages on a particular site that contain that phrase.

Give it a go by limiting it to Amazon.com.



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 Use the site: operator to limit your search so results are only from Amazon.com

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Searching page titles

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Searching in URLs

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Teacher: Will Critchlow

Restrict your search to a specific TLD

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Return the most recent cache of a page

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Find PDFs on a site using filetype

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Find posts by a specific author

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Use negative operators

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Combine negative with advanced operators

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Search external anchor text

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow